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May 11, 1984

Hormone hypothesis joins factors under study in motion sickness

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2313-2314. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420003001

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Anyone who has ever felt the grip of motion sickness—whether on land, at sea, or in the air—has likely wondered, "Why me?".

The answer lies in the fact that some persons are more susceptible than others, says Randall Lee Kohl, PhD, staff scientist at Universities Space Research Association, Houston, a contractor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

But Kohl has taken the idea of susceptibility a step further by correlating it with the hormonal response to motion sickness. "It appears that those who are less susceptible to motion sickness show higher elevations—upon exposure to [factors causing] motion sickness—of such hormones as adrenaline [epinephrine], ACTH [adrenocorticotropic hormone], and possibly norepinephrine," Kohl reported in Atlanta at the recent meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

"There also appears to be some indication that resting levels of these hormones may be elevated in people who have a lower